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published: April, 2002

Archives & Museum Informatics, 2002.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License


Live @ Exploratorium: Origins - A pilot study of Web-based links between museum audiences and remote scientific research
Robert Semper, Exploratorium, USA
Melissa Alexander, Exploratorium

Demonstration: Demonstrations 1

Live @ Exploratorium: Origins is a pilot project that mixes live, Internet broadcasts (Webcasts), a Web site with streaming media, Webcams, text and graphics with interactive presentations at the Exploratorium. The project is designed to take Internet and museum visitors on remote field trips to science research stations throughout the world, where scientists are examining what we know about the formation of the universe, the creation of matter, the shaping of the earth, and the story of life itself.

The project has produced Web-based resources that provide an in-depth look at the people, facilities, and ideas and activities based at CERN (the world's largest particle accelerator in Geneva), NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and various stations in Antarctica. In a unique approach to telling the story of basic research, Origins uses the Web and advanced communications technologies to connect visitors with these locations, offering a window into the world of the scientific endeavor and real-world examples of scientific and technological methods in action.

The project has included experimentation with different Web-based communication tools and formats, as well as with ways to use the Web to increase public understanding of specific science research topics. It has also fostered a greater collaboration between the museum world and dedicated research facilities, creating an exchange of knowledge, technological expertise, and ideas for reaching museum audiences through ongoing Web-based production.

The paper and presentation will provide a summary of the project activities and evaluation results during its first two years.